Business-to-business (B2B) transactions are those made between businesses, often on the supply chain. Many B2B companies have been slow to pick up the real art of SEO, content marketing, and social media; these companies assume that these processes are more relevant to business-to-customer (B2C) marketing.
However, with 61% of B2B decision-makers starting their work with an online search, it’s time to fully embrace how a carefully designed online presence can help the business.
In fact, 71% of B2B employees won’t even talk to a representative until they have done their own research. In B2B, your online presence is speaking for you, especially in these pandemic days when many employees are working remotely.
Using SEO as a B2B Company
Most search engine optimization (SEO) tips look at ways a company interacts directly with the consumer rather than with another business. However, B2B institutions can benefit in the same ways, even if the methods differ. For example, B2B SEO works best when focusing on industry-specific keywords that may not have high volume but are directly related to the product being sold, likely with a high cost per click (CPC).
Because of the specificity of most B2B transactions, both keywords and page meta need to be well-tuned to bring your pages to the top of the search engine results. The first five organic links that appear on the first page of search results account for two-thirds of all the clicks that page sees. Additionally, 50% of visitors are more likely to choose a link if that brand appears twice or more on the first page of search results.
B2B and Blogging
B2B marketers with blogs that offer content generate 67% more leads than those without blogs. Good content helps to educate potential customers, which helps with conversion; if all of the information they need is available, it becomes an easy decision to reach out. Adding written and visual content explaining your product and your company helps potential partners learn on their own time, which is quickly becoming the preferred way for B2B decision-makers.
Many businesses ignore content blogs because they don’t have the skills in-house to manage them, but 64% of B2B marketers outsource their blog copywriting. A properly-growing blog will provide continuously fresh material and an increasing number of indexed links, both of which improve search engine rankings. It isn’t just about articles, either: landing pages with video are 53% more likely to appear on the first page of an associated Google search.
Social Media for B2B Companies
A business working directly with another business may discard the idea of social media as a marketing tool; they aren’t reaching out to individual consumers, so why put resources into a social media presence that won’t help? Surprisingly, 76% of B2B tech companies include social media in their content strategy, and a whopping 84% of C- and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions.
The truth is, B2B companies can use social media to build a B2C-style relationship with potential endpoint consumers, even if there are no direct sales. For example, companies can use social media to raise brand awareness, share new developments and technologies with the public, and discuss the company’s outreach programs, such as local or environmental projects. LinkedIn is the most effective platform for most B2B companies: 9 out of 10 use LinkedIn in some way.
In addition to the visibility benefits, customers are starting to prefer social media for customer care and service interactions over channels like email, phone, or website/live chat. Luckily, B2B businesses aren’t expected to be present on every social media site, only those that make sense for their particular brand.